Croatian church leader Mladen Jovanovic dies at 68
Mladen Jovanovic (PHOTO PROVIDED)
Mladen Jovanovic, longtime church leader in the Central European nation of Croatia, died unexpectedly Sept. 6 after an apparent heart attack.
Jovanovic had just returned to his home in Zagreb, Croatia, after performing a wedding at a Church of Christ in Albania, said Drasko Djenovic, a Church of Christ member in Belgrade, Serbia.
"Mladen Jovanovic was probably the best-known preacher in this part of the world," Djenovic told The Christian Chronicle.
Jovanovic was the first Church of Christ minister in communist Yugoslavia.
helped establish congregations in Zagreb and Belgrade before the Iron Curtain collapsed, Djenovic said.
Jovanovic later became the president of the Council of Churches in Croatia.
"Mladen has been one of the strongest Christian examples and most influential leaders in Europe and Eastern Europe for more than 40 years," said Lynn McMillon, CEO, president and editor of the Chronicle.
Jovanovic family with broken hearts must inform you that Mladen, our dear husband, father, and grandfather passed away last night, Sept. 6, 2013.
It appears that he
suffered a massive heart attack and died instantly.
All of us are in shock!
By all appearances, Mladen
was in good health and has been as active as ever in service of Christ and His
sudden death has left all of us stunned and brokenhearted.
But we are proud of the life that he
love for Jesus Christ and His
Kingdom has served as an example for all.
Each of us are blessed by his
love of God and the way that he
loved our family.
passionate concern for the Church produced a life of faithful service not only in Croatia but throughout Central and Eastern Europe.
The family asks that no flowers be sent.
Instead, contributions can be sent to the memorial fund that is being established to honor his
life and legacy.
had one dream left unfinished.
wanted to complete plans for a much needed expansion of the church.
In a 2003 interview with the Chronicle
discussed the roles of Churches of Christ in post-Soviet Europe:
How have the Zagreb church's efforts as a relief center in the 1990s influenced the development of the church?
Mladen Jovanovic, early in his ministry. (PHOTO PROVIDED)
Related Story: Jovanovic
was a man of wisdom, faith
PHOTO PROVIDED BY VLADO PSENKO
, right, and fellow minister Vlado Psenko, review a script for "The Valley of Blessings," a gospel radio program produced by Churches of Christ in Croatia.